Heatherwick salutes an inspirational craftsman and collaborator

Thomas heatherwick credit elena heatherwick lr web

Thomas Heatherwick pays tribute to his friend the fabricator Bill Tustin who was instrumental in some of his studio’s key projects

I first met Bill Tustin, the founder of Littlehampton Welding, 18 years ago when my studio was commissioned to build a new bridge in Paddington Basin. We were soon to realise that we had met an extremely rare person in the world of architectural making in this country, without whom the project would never have happened

Bill and his company were responsible for so many structures and parts of buildings all around our nation, especially in London. Founded in 1983, the Sussex-based company became the “go-to” people for architects and property developers for unusual and highly detailed pieces of architectural steelwork.

Bill was a brilliant problem-solver and Littlehampton Welding was – and still is – responsible for all sorts of exuberant and fabulous creations ranging from the incredible staircase inside the new Bloomberg headquarters to the late Will Alsop’s Neuron Pod for Queen Mary University in Whitechapel. Many people will also be familiar with the annual sculptures he created with Gerry Judah that thrilled and delighted the crowd each year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

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